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Reps Propose Six-year Single Term For President, Govs

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja 

A group of 30 lawmakers in the House of Representatives known as Reform Minded Lawmakers across Political Parties (G-30), on Monday, said that its proposal of six years single term for the office of President and Governors, as well as power Rotation amongst others, have passed first reading in the House.

The lawmakers are also advocating the conduct of Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and Local Government as well as FCT Area Councils elections in one day.

The Reform Minded Lawmakers disclosed this during a press conference on the 50 Bills they jointly sponsored, which passed first reading in the House of Representatives in Abuja on Monday.

Reading the text of the press conference, Co-sponsor of the Bills and member representing Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said they were proposing alterations to the 1999 constitution (as amended) to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones of the country to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of new states.

Ugochinyere also the Bills were seeking the amendment of the Constitution to create the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria with the 1st vice being a succession Vice president, while the 2nd Vice president being a Minister in charge of the Economy, and both being Ministers.

He further said the Bills were seeking constitutional amendments to provide that the President and the 1st Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (North or South) and the 1st Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated.

“We, the reformers elected representatives of the people of Nigeria, are concentrated on proving that we are fully capable of managing our affairs together as a nation. Hence, as the first step in our commitment, we are presenting to the public Bills and proposals, which will are pushing on the floor floor of the 10th Assembly. These Bills will touch on every aspect of development in all sectors of our Economy and well-being as a nation.

“These Bills which are 50 in numbers have gone through first reading but today we are starting with public unveiling of about 6 of them while the remaining will come in the weeks ahead. It ranges from governance, economic, security, and justice sector reforms to social bills that will target unifying our nation and ensuring long-lasting peace and national cohesion.

“Therefore, the bills presented today will address that proposal
On Governance, we are proposing:
Constitutional Alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states.

“To amend section 3 of the Constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones. To amend the Constitution to provide for a single tenure of six years for the President and Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The reduction in government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and Governors.

“Amend the Constitution to create the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria. The 1st vice shall be a succession Vice president, while the 2nd Vice president shall be a Minister in charge of the Economy, and both shall be Ministers.

“Constitutional Amendment to provide that the President and the 1st Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (north or south) and the 1st Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, i.e., V.P. (Succession), V.P. (Administration and Economy)

“The financial autonomy and accountability of Local Government Councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintended by Local Councils and prescribing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of Local Government funds.

“To amend section 162(5) of the 1999 Constitution to provide that where a State Government fails to remit to the Local Government Councils within its jurisdiction (or within the State), the amounts standing to the credit of that Local Government in the allocation from the Federation account, such State Government shall not be entitled to receive a future allocation from the Federal Government.

“Elections remain our only democratic means of bringing back sanity in our polity, so we must get our selection processes right. We are proposing Bills to address capture and corruption in our electoral processes to include; Amending the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure that all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state houses of Assembly, and local governments) are held on the same day.

“Amending the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to provide that no declaration of a winner of an election shall be done by the relevant INEC Officials until such officer has compared the results with the list of accredited voters and ensured that the results to be declared are in tandem with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine or any other electronic device.

“Amend the Electoral Act to provide that any INEC Officer who declares a false result will be liable for civil and criminal action personally brought against him by parties in the elections. An Amendment to the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related litigations must be resolved and determined by the Elections Petitions Tribunal, Appeal Courts, etc., before the winners are sworn into the respective elective offices.

“An Amendment of the Electoral Act to make provision for the conduct and conclusion of all elections and election-related litigation within a period of six months before the swearing into office of the validly elected person for the office contested. An Amendment of the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related documents and materials must be made available to those who participated in elections and who have reasons to question/petition the elections at the Elections Tribunal.

“We want to conclude this press conference by greeting all Nigerians of all walks of life on this historic day: our men and women in the different sectors of the Economy, our vibrant young people, persons with disabilities, our law enforcement agencies, our traditional rulers, fathers of our communities and custodians of our cultural heritage, our religious leaders, custodians of faith and morals, our effective civil society organizations.

“This task ahead of us is huge and cannot be achieved without you. It is a task for all of us. Our work does not go beyond taking the initiative to get them into Parliament,” he added.

POLITICS

APC Wants Kwankwaso Arrested Over Inciting Comments

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State has called for the arrest of the leader of the Kwankwasiyya Movement and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, over his allegations against the party and the federal government.

Kwankwaso had alleged that the APC-led federal government was attempting to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of Kano State.

Kwankwaso, who spoke during the flag-off ceremony for the construction of 85 kilometres of rural roads in his hometown, Madobi, alleged that the federal government was taking wrong advice from some unnamed individuals who do not want peace in Kano and wanted to create another Boko Haram insurgency in the state.

“In the buildup to 2027, some desperate politicians are already on a mission of disruption, but we will rather prefer the two of us to lose than to allow them to crush us unnecessarily. We dare anybody who thinks he can victimise us politically to go and rest assured that we are ready for the fight,” the former Kano State governor said.

“We are open to dialogue, truce, and reconciliation, but we will not accept intimidation or political harassment of any sort. We know how to play politics, and we have all it takes to protect ourselves from any evil,” he added.

But in its reaction, Abdullahi Abbas, the APC chairman in Kano State, said in a statement yesterday that no amount of threat by Kwankwaso would intimidate the federal government.

The statement reads, “The embattled NNPP chieftain, who is visibly disturbed by the dismal performance of his protege in the last year and frustratingly longing for control of Kano politics, should be arrested by security agents to determine who is recruiting the Boko Haram terrorists.

“We want to call on security agents to arrest this man so that he reveals the identity of those he referred to as enemies of the state working for the federal government to recruit Boko Haram terrorists and insurgents,” the statement added.The chairman noted that the comments were a pointer to a sinister motive by Kwankwaso and his cohorts to unleash trouble in Kano.

The national secretariat of the party also issued a statement in which it said, “As a former governor and Minister of Defence, we expect Kwankwaso to demonstrate high-grade discretion and a better grip on the severe social, political, and security implications of unguarded utterances capable of fuelling tension and strife in the good state of Kano.

In a related development, the presidency has denied allegations that the federal government is planning to declare a state of emergency following the protracted impasse surrounding the emirship tussle in Kano.

Kwankwaso had alleged that the FG was planning to declare a state of emergency in the state.

He said the refusal of the federal government to remove security operatives guarding the 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who had been deposed by the state government, showed that the government at the centre did not mean well for the state.

But responding, the special adviser to the president on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the alarm by Kwankwaso was a “mere rumour.”

Onanuga said the FG cannot declare a state of emergency in any state without the involvement of the National Assembly, adding that there was no such plan.

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POLITICS

Massive Defections Hit Benue PDP, Over 4,459 Join APC

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

Not fewer than  4459 parties faithful from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, on Wednesday, defected from their parties to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State.

The events took place in Katsina-Ala as well as in Kwande and Ushongo Local Government Areas during the commencement of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s state-wide ‘thank you’ tour to extend his appreciation to the people for voting him in 2023 general elections.

Speaking during the events held at Katsina-Ala township stadium and LGEA primary school Kwande town respectively, Governor Alia appreciated the people for their overwhelming support given to him during the last elections.

He reiterated his administration’s determination to return all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of armed herdsmen attacks back to their ancestral homes to continue normal farming activities.

He expressed concern that the Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo Federal Constituency, which is the hub for yam production in the country was greatly hit by attacks perpetrated by armed bandits.

The Governor maintained that the issue of security is not the responsibility of government alone, and enjoined all and sundry to join hands with him in the onerous task to rid the state of attacks.

He also urged the people to form cooperative societies through which they would receive farm inputs and other benefits from his administration to develop themselves to be self-reliant.

Alia who bruised aside widespread reports that he had borrowed huge sums of money from foreign financial institutions to execute infrastructural projects in the state, announced the award of contract for the construction of the Sankera-Chito-Vaase road to help check the worsening insecurity situation bedeviling the area.

He said he had contacted President Bola Tinubu to assist the state construct more roads network in Sankera and he graciously approved construction of the Katsina-Ala Head Bridge-Hausa Quarters/Victory Bible Church Wukari Junction; the Zaki-Biam Yam Market-Iwar Ior-Y Junction roads, urging the people to be patient with the President as he has meant well for the state in the area of development projects.

Speaking on behalf of his constituents, the member representing Ukum, Logo and Ukum federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Solomon Wombo, endorsed Governor Alia for a second term.

Wombo said Sankera people have unanimously endorsed the governor to contest again because of the track record of achievements he has put on the sand of history within his one year in office which he said no governor of the state had ever recorded.

The federal lawmaker frowned at the growing insecurity situation bedeviling the area which he said is in dual fold including local militia and armed herdsmen and appealed to the governor to tackle the menace for the development of Sankera to enable residents go back to their farms.

Collaborating Hon. Wombo’s position, the governor’s Chief of Staff, Paul Biam, hailed the one year scorecard of the Alia’s administration which he noted have surpassed those of the immediate past governor.

Biam hinted that the Alia’s administration has a programme of stomach infrastructure for the people after critical projects might have been attended to, to enable the people have the feel of government.

“After roads and other infrastructural development, the governor will resort to stomach infrastructure and the cries of hunger will be a thing of the past”.

At Kwande/Ushongo, Governor Alia appreciated the people’s support to him and promised to reciprocate the gesture via the construction of the Adikpo-Mbape-Ada road to link the state to neighbouring Cross River state.

He commended chairman of the local government for lighting up Adikpo town within few days in office, but lamented the insecurity situation in the local government especially the armed herdsmen attacks and the illegal mining activities, and tasked traditional rulers to rise up by ensuring that anyone caught confronts the full wrath of the law.

Receiving the decamped members, the state Acting chairman of the APC, Benjamin Omakolo, assured them of equal and maximum opportunity in the party.

He urged the people to support the Alia’s administration to take the state to the next level of development.

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NEWS

Fubara Swears in New Caretaker Committee Chairmen for 23  LGAs

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Gov.Siminalayi  Fubara of Rivers, on Wednesday swore in Caretaker Committee Chairmen for the 23 Local Government Councils of the state.

The swearing-in ceremony was performed at the Executive Council meeting in Government House, Port Harcourt.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new Caretaker Committee Chairmen were earlier invited by the Rivers State House  of Assembly for screening and confirmation before  the swearing in by the Governor.

The newly sworn-in Caretaker Committee Chairmen include; Mr Madigai Dickson for Abua-Odual LGA, Mr Happy Benneth – Ahoada East LGA, Mr. Daddy John Green – Ahoada west,;  Otonto Briggs -Akuku Toru LGA , Reginald Ekaa –  Andoni LGA .

Others are Asari Toru LGA – Orolosoma Amachree; Bonny LGA – Alabota Anengi Barasua; Degema LGA – Anthony Soberekon; Eleme LGA – Brain Gokpa; Emouha LGA – David Omereji; Etche LGA – John Otamiri and Gokana LGA – Kenneth Kpeden.

The others are; Ikwerre LGA – Darlington Orji; Khana LGA – Marvin Yobana; Obio/Akpor LGA – Chijioke Ihunwo; Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA – Princewill Ejekwe; Ogu/Bolo LGA – Evans Bipi; Okrika LGA – Princess Ogan; Omuma LGA – Promise Reginald; Opobo/Nkoro LGA – Enyiada Cookey-Gam; Oyigbo LGA – Gogo Philip; Port Harcourt LGA – Ichemati Ezebunwo and Tai LGA – Hon. Matthew Dike.(NAN)

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